Flat-Club celebrates first successful year and looks to expand in Europe
Flat-Club is an exclusive network for alumni and students of top business schools to arrange short term accommodation solutions.
Launched in November 2010 by Nitzan Yudan (MBA2011) and Tomer Kalish (MBA2010), Flat-Club grew quickly from 5 to 2,000 flats – mainly through word of mouth with the help of the LBS alumni network.
Flat-Club’s key differentiator from competitors is that it allows users to offer their flats only to those people from within their existing professional and business school networks, and not to everyone who visits the website. By leveraging existing professional and business school networks, Flat-Club helps hosts make extra income on their properties, and allows guests to save up to 80% on the cost of hotel prices, whilst enjoying the added value of more space, kitchen facilities, and the ability to travel like a local.
Building Flat-Club around the dynamics of trust has meant that more people than ever are posting their flats online, 70% of the flats on Flat-Club have never been posted on the internet before. As a result, the company has been able to create a new market where private hosts are able to post their properties to selected members of their social networks in a win-win situation for all involved.
“Flat-Club is like the portal of portal – creating a platform where alumni of one business schools can communicate with alumni of another business school” says Mr Yudan. “We keep receiving excellent feedback from both hosts and guests, not only about the rental experience, but also about the networking opportunity from meeting alumni of top business schools”.
Mr Kalish added “while studying in LBS we realized the power of trust within the school, and we are now replicating this to similar communities. We realized that people are looking to rent with others who share common values. Following the success in London, we are now raising finance to support the expansion to the US and in Europe”.
Flat-Club is strongly supported by the LBS community, with close mentorship of faculty, the advantage of the incubator program, and the advice of the entrepreneurial community. “Flat-Club would never grow so quickly without the support of LBS community. From the initial business plan to raising finance – we get excellent advice from faculty. The alumni network and especially the Active Startup Forum on portal are a great source of inspiration as well as support in bootstrapping administration and technical challenges” said Mr Yudan.